This Colorado crime can only be charged when 1) someone pretends to be another person, and then 2) does something on a prohibited list, while in that “pretend” capacity. In its definition, Criminal Impersonation includes a list of all the prohibited things which cannot be done while pretending to be someone else. The list includes:
- Marry or Pretend to Marry
- Become bail / surety for another
- Confess a judgment
- Sign a document which may be recorded in a government office (title, traffic ticket)
- Perform an act which might subject them to criminal or civil liability
- Perform an act with intent to gain a benefit or defraud another
Most Commonly Charged Impersonation Charge?
The “wild card” prohibition on this list which applies to most of the cases we handle in Denver, Adams and Las Animas County is “perform an act which might subject another to criminal or civil liability.” Usually it is criminal liability. For example, if you sign a traffic ticket pretending to be another, you will be subjecting them to criminal liability. Usually, young adults who have their driver’s license under suspension or revocation, and are caught driving, will pretend to be someone else. In the civil context, if you assume an identity and order a credit card in another’s name, you will obligate them civilly.
Related Felony Crimes
The crime of Criminal Impersonation is a class 6 (six) felony in Jefferson, Douglas and Arapahoe County. It is closely related to Offering a False Instrument for Recording, C.R.S. 18-5-114, Forgery, C.R.S. 18-5-102; and Criminal Possession of a Forgery Device, C.R.S. 18-5-109. Our clients are usually charged with more than one of these crimes at the same time. Police reason that if your defense attorney gets you off one charge, they want to have another present as well. It increases their chance of success in getting a felony conviction.
I am writing this blog because clients engage in conduct which they imagine is not super serious, so they do it. They are surprised when they are accused of this felony – which causes them to lose jobs, security clearances, firearm rights and the respect of others.
If you want to limit the consequences of a bad decision, call us for a free consultation. Always remain silent when police come to questions you and call our attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.